Monday - Saturday - 8:00 - 18:00, Sunday - 8:00 - 14:00

JKCHIEF JOE-KYARI GADZAMA, OFR, MFR, SAN, FNIALS, DipICArb, FCIArb. (UK), Chartered Arbitrator, CEDR Accredited Mediator,
Barrister at Lincoln’s Inn/ Life Bencher.
J-K Gadzama LLP, J-K Gadzama Court,
Plot 1805, Damaturu Crescent By Kabo way, Off Ahmadu Bello Way,
P.O. Box 20304 Garki 2, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.

+2348022231999 (NGN)
+44 7340749119 (UK)
+1 954-532-0422 (USA)
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Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama is a seasoned Litigation and Commercial Lawyer, and an internationally respected Arbitrator. He is the Founder/Principal Partner of J-K Gadzama LLP. He has both local and international wealth of experience and listed in Who is Who Nigeria 2016 as an arbitration expert. He is a Scholar, an Author and a Publisher. Born on the 28th day of November, 1961 in Mubi, Adamawa State, he hails from Lassa in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State, Nigeria. He was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in 1986 and Lincoln’s Inn (UK) in 2008. He was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1998 (the first among the 1986 set of the Nigerian Law School).

His expert opinion, on the nature of damages recoverable under Nigerian law by family members of a victim of a fatal plane crash, was sought in Toulouse, France, before the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Toulouse in 2015. He was also Chairman, National Working Group on Domestication of the Rome Statute in Nigeria, constituted by the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria in 2011. Board Member (Fmr), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Board member (Fmr) Diamond Pension Fund Custodian Ltd, Board member (Fmr) University of Benin, Nigeria.


Chief Gadzama has participated as Presiding Arbitrator, Party Nominated Arbitrator, Sole Arbitrator and as lead Counsel in several landmark commercial arbitration matters. His arbitral awards have been variously challenged and most were unsuccessful. Examples of arbitration matters he has been involved in include:

  1. Appointed as a Sole Arbitrator vide a ruling of Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/1332/07 involving N101, 258, 582.04. The party unsuccessfully challenged the award in Motion No. FCT/HC/M/8783/11 (Benchmark Solutions LTD & Anor vs UBA PLC & Anor).
  2. Appointed as a Sole Arbitrator by the Chief Judge, High Court of the FCT in a N360,000,000.00 (approximately $2,214,000.35) breach of contract claim.
  3. Appointed as a Sole Arbitrator vide the ruling of the Court on 6th November, 2006 concerning a N6, 318, 000.00 insurance claim. The Insurance Company unsuccessfully challenged the award at the FCT High Court but succeeded on appeal in Appeal No. CA/A/96/2007 reported as I.G.I. Co. Ltd vs.  Kechinyere Adogu (2010) 1 NWLR Part 1175 @ page 337.
  4. Chairman of the Arbitral Panel in a N284, 310, 237.00 claim of breach of contract against a Nigerian Commercial Bank. Parties accepted the Award
  5. Chairman of the Arbitral Panel in a N24, 287,000.00 breach of contract dispute against a Nigerian commercial bank. 
  6. Acted as a leading Counsel in a $152 Million arbitration claim against a national corporation for breach of contract. Parties challenged the award before the Federal High Court, Nigeria on ground of lack of jurisdiction and misconduct of the arbitrators while the Claimant approached the UK Court for enforcement. The neutral citation of the latest English decisions which are available online are: IPCO v NNPC [2015] EWCA Civ 1144 (for the main judgment) and [2015] EWCA Civ 1145 (for the supplementary judgment) and [2017] UKSC 16.


Chief Gadzama belongs to and has played a leading role in some of the following ADR Centres/Organisation, among others:

  1. Pioneer Board Member (Fmr) of the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA);
  2. Member, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA);
  3. Member, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, England (CEDR);
  4. Member, Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC);
  5. Member (Fmr) of the Governing Board of the Abuja Multi-Door Courthouse (ADR Centre);
  6. Member of the Panel of Neutrals, Abuja Multi-Door Courthouse (ADR Centre);
  7. Member of the Panel of Neutrals, Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (ADR Centre);
  8. Member, Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (RCICA) Lagos;
  9. Member, National Committee on the Reform & Harmonization of Arbitration and ADR laws in Nigeria;
  10. Member and Sponsor, Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG);
  11. Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Janada International Center for Arbitration and Mediation (JICAM);
  12. Chairman (Fmr), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Abuja Chapter;
  13. Pioneer Chairman (Fmr), Association of CEDR Accredited Mediators of Nigeria (ACAMON);
  14. Member of the Nigerian Commission, International Chambers of Commerce (ICC); 
  15. Member, International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA);
  16. Member, American Arbitration Association (AAA); and
  17. Member, Governing Council of the Dispute Resolution Center of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Chief J-K as fondly called by his peers has attended several international and local conferences, seminars and workshops which include International Bar Association (IBA) Conferences around the world,  2001-2016; 1st International Workshop on ADR and Arbitration in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria 2004; 1st, 2nd and 3rd International Workshops on Integration of Arbitration, Mediation, and Conciliation in Dispute Resolution in Africa,  held in Johannesburg, South Africa 2006, Nairobi, Kenya 2007 and Cairo, Egypt 2009 respectively. He has equally presented papers at various conferences on arbitration which include:

  1.  ‘International Trade Dispute Resolution’ presented at the 15th Commonwealth Law Conference, held at Kenyatta International Conference Center, Nairobi, Kenya on 12th September, 2007;
  2. ‘Integration of Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation in Dispute Resolution in Africa’ Johannesburg, South Africa, June, 2006;
  3.   ‘Stay of Court Proceedings Pending Arbitration’ presented at 1st International Workshop on Arbitration and ADR in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria, July, 2004;
  4. ‘ADR and the Multi-Door Concept for Judges and Lawyers’, at Abuja, Sheraton Hotels & Towers on the 27th June, 2006 and 
  5. ‘Development and Practice of ADR and Arbitration in Nigeria, 2004 Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference, Abuja, August 2004.


1986                Legal Trainee, Ministry of Justice, Kano State;
1986-1988        Counsel, Ismail Gadzama & Co (Solicitors & Advocates) Kano State; and
1989-Till date  Principal Partner/Founder, J-K Gadzama LLP.


1985    LL.B University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria;
1986    B.L. Nigerian Law School, Nigeria;
2006    Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, Keble College, Oxford University, UK.;
2008    Called to the Bar of England & Wales, (UK);
2009    Institute of Public Private Partnership (IP3), Washington DC, USA; and
2010    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Short Course on Regulation;


Chief Gadzama is also a long term member of the following professional associations:

  1. Member, International Division of the Law Society of England & Wales; 
  2. Member, English Bar, (Lincoln’s Inn);
  3. Associate Member, American Bar Association (ABA);
  4. Member, Pan-African Lawyers’ Union, (PALU);
  5. Life Member, African Bar Association, (AFBA); 
  6. Member, South Eastern Circuit (SEC) of the Bar of England & Wales (London);
  7. Member, International Bar Association, (IBA);
  8. Member, Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA);
  9. Member, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, (CLA); and
  10. Member, West African Bar Association, (WABA).